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Saturday, October 29, 2011


For your viewing pleasure: A well-done, period-correct vintage van with numerous custom touches. 

Dig the vintage Keystones

Tasty two-tone paint.
A '32 Ford provided the deco style chrome handles for rear and side doors.

Modern buckets and wooden dash.

Simple sleeping quarters.

The roof rack and chrome bumper are nice touches.

A nice interior.

Note the subtle and understated custom front grill.

Nicely integrated speakers.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


My son Drew came across four really interesting bar stools this weekend while thrifting here in Denver. Knowing I'd been scouting for seats for my Econoline, he called me at work and described them to me. As he has a good eye, I planned to go see them ASAP.

The next morning was Saturday, so I made a bee line to the thrift store. Imagine my delight when I came upon the seats you see here. Better yet, they had been marked down by 50% since when Drew saw them a day earlier. I bought four. It's great having a son who find gems like this for me and the price was more than fair. It was, in a word,  ridiculous. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


A guy I used to work with-- a phenomenal designer -- just helped make an old Dodge A-100 into one of the coolest delivery vehicles on the planet. I know very little else about it other than Ryan Rhodes out helped on it. I'm guessing he laid out all the typography. Anyhow, if you see this bad boy running around Austin, TX, follow it to the beer garden. More on it once I've learned a bit more. 
Until then, enjoy. Cheers!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


This has absolutely no correlation to this post. Other than being insanely cool.
VinVanCo merch is coming. After going a couple rounds with the artist we hired, we're getting close to having our artwork done. And it's going to be rad. Which means collecting bids for patches, decals, tees, koozies and bumper stickers can start. Stay tuned. Things are about to get interesting.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Every once in a while I come across a little slice of period-perfect perfection. Today's example is one of those vehicles that serves to remind me that less is often more. While I've been obsessing over how to bury "Poochie, our '61 Econoline into the weeds, along comes a tasteful rake that looks, well, perfect. Of course, the rake is not the only thing that makes this Econoline wonderful. I wouldn't be surprised if the money saved not trying to make it ride lower than it was ever intended to,  may have made the tasteful mods ot does have possible. For example, the bumpers, the grill, the roof color and the Cragar SS wheels. And check out the mirrors. Not small peekaboos that hardly work. But the industrial kind that actually do a bang up job. I love it. Kudos to the builder/owner. Period prefect.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Donn Dabney is a Sonoma, California resident who has embarked on an journey to restore a 1961 Ford Econoline the right way. Not the cheap way. He is taking the time that's needed to build a truly extraordinary example of a 1961 Ford Econoline panel van in the guise of a West coast surfer style van. Very few people short of Coby Gewertz (owner of VanGo) have gone so far to build a first-generation Ford Econoline. Prepare to be very impressed.

Note the surf-themed custom gauge bezel.

As you can see no stone was left unturned.

Note the modern headlight and the perfect bezels.

Even the doghouse is perfectly restored.

Classic Cragar SS rims make this Econoline look like a period-perfect throwback.

Perfect chrome.

The humble beginnings of a nice clean interior with insulation. 

What West Coast beach lover wouldn't love to pilot this puppy?

The seats have been treated to leather upholstery.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I came across some interior shots of a pink Falcon van I'd seen before on the 'net. Now admittedly, it is not the first color that I'd choose to paint an early. But I'd be lying if said I didn't appreciate it. The more I see it, in fact, the more I'm drawn to it. But what really impressed me when I saw the interior pictures, was the continuity of the theme, in terms of carrying it from the exterior into the interior. I'd have to give the person who did this interior a big fat freakin' A+. It's one thing to make an interior wacky, another thing altogether to go purely functional. But once in a great while, you see someone who does a great custom interior that is a useful as it is creative. That pretty much describes how I feel about this one. Note the front center console and the rear speaker shelf in back. I'll bet this one has a killer sound system. The rims are also great, neither retro nor ultra modern, but rather an interesting balance of each. Kudos to all involved on a very well-done early. Pink. Pretty. Cool.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

How to lower a first-gen van

It seems to be the $64,000 question that many of us are asking. In an effort to find the answer, I recently posted up on the world-renowned HAMB (Hokey Ass Message Board) and after a mild roasting over symantics -- referring to lowering a first-gen van as a "body drop" vs. "channeling", a few people in the know actually chimed in. Rather than repeat the highlights, I thought I'd simply share the blog thread itself. Just paste the url below into your browser and enjoy.

Feel free to give it a read and to those of you who may be unfamiliar with it, have a look at a great blog for pre-63 traditional hot rodding info. But make sure and get your terminology right!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

VinVanCo merch is coming

"My, what sharp teeth you have"

I'm not generally a red lover. Better scratch that last thought.

We're just now seeing our first designs come to fruition for VinVanCo and while I'd love to
show them off, I'm going to hold back until everything is set. 
In the words of Tom Petty, "the waiting is the hardest part".
I do think first-generation van fans are going to like what they see.
Until then, here's some F-G (first gen) eye candy.

Look Ma, no doors. 

Now that's what I call raking the lawn.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


One of the things I love about the Internet is how much you can find just digging around. Now as many of you are no doubt starting to catch onto, I've got a first-gen van Jones. But I never did care for the long wheelbase earlies, especially the Econolines. Then along comes someone with a lot of imagination and serious fabrication chops to slap my perception silly.
Case in point: The "LWBECO" seen up above. What the folks at Needful Thingz have done is quite brilliant, in my humble opinion. By relocating the rear wheelwheel of a LWB Econoline about 18" back, they've singlehandedly solved the ungainly proportion problems that made the it look like it had been beaten with an ugly stick. Now this type of fabrication is not for the faint of heart. Do not try this at home. But man have they changed my impression of the long wheelbase Econolines.  Damn fine work, gents. I'm truly impressed. For those wanting to learn more, go to NTKUSTOMS myspace page .
Hope to be bringing you more on this vehicle down the road.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

OUR 1961, ORIGINAL-OWNER ECONOLINE (not counting us.)

It's a long story but I'll keep it short. A couple of years a go a young writer who worked for me asked if I might be interested in an Econoline, knowing I liked fixing up old junk. I told him I might be interested and casually inquired, "Do ya know what year it is?" His response went something like this. "I think it's a '64, it was my grandpa's work van and it's been in the garage of his lake house since he replaced it with a new van back in the eighties." Little did he know I had a past with first gens, having owned four different ones and barely surviving the much-maligned "Van Movement" of the seventies with my twenties intact. It didn't take me long to get up to Brownwood, Texas, with a trailer in tow to see what was in store for us. What we found was a bruised, but not beaten Seafoam green Econoline panel van with virtually no options. It didn't even come with a passenger seat or a glovebox door. And it was 100% bone stock as it sat. The mods we have planned? We have a Ford 302 on the stand for her out of a early seventies Bronco. We're looking for an 8", 8.8", or 9" rear for it, as well as a 3-speed automatic. We'll post up more as we add parts. Thanks for reading.

We had to drag the old girl from her cocoon of twenty years.
The original plan was to make it my son's first car, but that plan changed with the purchase of '67 Impala -- so the plan is now for the van to be fixed it up and used as the VinVanCo company van. A nice, period-70's van-movement hauler. I wanted to share a few shots of the van as we found it, and cleaned up as it sits in the garage awaiting an influx of capital to fund its restification.
Here's a quick progress report of where we're at.  
Incidently, the van is a 1961, and was last registered in 1988. 
We've named her "Poochie", in honor of Earl Clements, its first owner, 
who was known by that nickname to friends and family alike.
RIP Poochie, yer ol' girl is in good hands. 

First daylight in two decades. Check the faded Seafoam paint.  Yum.
Here she is back home after a good scrub.
Time for a little internal cleanse.
144 cubes sans doghouse.

The interior post-scrub.

Out with the old. 
Cigars. Candy. Tobacco. Drugs.  Now all we need is strippers.

Here she is having an out-of-suspension experience.

This is in mock-up. Wishful ride-height thinking at its finest. 

Everyone loves her original paint. We wouldn't dream of changing it.
We gingerly tapped out all of her little dimples and dents, then carefully pushed her nose back
into shape. We'll be leaving the paint and body as-is.
Come to think of it, maybe we'll treat her to a nice coat of clear before we start driving her.

Introducing "Custom Vanner"

Issue #1 is sold out, but more are coming. 
David "Matchstick" Brooks is not your typical van lover. I say that 'cuz while many of us love vintage vans, few are willing to take the time and the trouble to create a magazine that pays homage to 'em. David has done just that, starting Custom Vanner not long ago. I recently sat down with issue Numero Uno. I'm pleased to report that while few advertisers have stepped up to buy pages yet, David is off to an impressive start and certainly has our admiration and support. 32 pages packed with color containing finished vans, projects in progress, an interview with Adam Cruz -- co-founder of  The Vandoleros Van Club, hot rod artist, and co-conspirator at the world-renowned House Industries -- as well as an article on the proper way to choose a piece of welding equipment. The result is an engrossing new "little book" no vintage van lover should be without. If you'd like to receive future issues of Custom Vanner, call David at 502 240-9326 and tell him you heard about him from Cameron @ VinVanCo. Or, track him down by name on Facebook. I'll have more to share with you about David and his other products soon, but for now I suggest you get your mitts on the next issue of Custom Vanner. Help support the cause and fuel your passion for "earlies" simultaneously. More to come.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A killer 61 Econoline

I was rooting around on the Internet this weekend and found a bitchen build blog on a Sonoma, CA-based 61 Econoline panel van. Its owner is a guy named Donn Dabney, who happens to own a business called leftcoastclassics (which also happens to be his handle on Car Domain.) Anyhow, if you click over you'll find all kinds of helpful info, including the appropriate wheel sizes and offsets for running Cragar SS wheels. Donn even has listed the largest tire you can run without causing interference. As you can see Donn has built himself one honey of an Econoline, sparing no expense as you'll see in his blog.  Enjoy!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


This has nothing to do with the Tuck illustration that's coming, Cool tho.
Our very first VinVanCo custom design is in the works with Hollywood Tuck. We're starting slowly to make sure we get the look right. SPOILER ALERT: Be on the lookout for one badass custom Ford Econoline Illustration. In the meantime, take a gander at all the cool artwork @ Tuck Industries. Here ya go.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


This idea has been brewing in my brain for years, and it's finally come time to pour it out.

Vintage vans are cool. They were cool when I was in high school and owned a mustard-yellow, short wheel base panel van, with a straight six. And they're just as cool now.

Maybe even cooler, frankly. After all, they're no longer so readily available. The price of admission is higher. It seems they had to fall almost completely off the radar, before any of us started feeling nostalgic about them, and reflecting back on just how damn cool they really are.

Given that most vans of the 60's began their lives as pack mules for phone companies, appliance repair services or hauling away dirty diapers before anyone had a concept of disposables, is it any wonder so few are still running around today?

But fortunately, they are still out there. And while those who love them are indeed a smaller pack than the seventies van movement, our passion is even stronger. We were the ones who crossed state lines in these beauties, collecting memories and experiences we'd never forget. Those who were carted to concerts, beaches and national parks in these trusty steads. A few of us probably had the privilege of sleeping off a buzz in the back of a vintage van.
Vintage vans have rightfully earned a place in our hearts. It's that very observation that led us create Vintage Van Company, or VinVanCo. VinVanCo wants to rekindle the passion for vintage vans, and re-establish the vintage van to its rightful place. In our hearts and minds. And for the die hard among us, back on the roads.

Where all those fond feelings got their start in the first place.

Like many fires, Vinvanco will start small. With cool stickers and high-quality tees, created by some of the best artists in the world. Perhaps some fine art prints will follow, as well as patches, beer koozies and the like. But if the idea catches on, it's our intent to evolve into a source for the period correct accessories that today's vintage van lovers need in order to customize their early vans just as they could have been back in the heyday of the original van movement.

So welcome. Vinvanco is as much yours, as it is ours. We invite you to look around, dive as deep as your passion takes you, and feel free to use our helpful links page to find other sources that'll help you fuel your love for vintage vans.
If you're an artist with an interest in helping us grow the vintage van movement, drop us a line and send samples. If you're a manufacturer, and looking to help us fill the void, by all means, give us a buzz. And if you're simply a person who would like share your love of vans through an American made t-shirt, fasten your seat belt.

It's going to be a fun ride.

Cameron & Debbie Day